The Giver Essay

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In this excerpt, Patty Campbell, noted author, critic, and general editor of Twayne's Young Adult Author series, discusses the unexpected elements in Lowry's The Giver, with its multilevels of meaning, complex symbolism, and ambiguous conclusion, so radical a change from previous works by the author.

Once in a long while a book comes along that takes hardened young-adult reviewers by surprise, a book so unlike what has gone before, so rich in levels of meaning, so daring in complexity of symbol and metaphor, so challenging in the ambiguity of its conclusion, that we are left with all our neat little everyday categories and judgments hanging useless. Books like Robert Cormier's I Am the Cheese or Terry Davis's Mysterious Ways are examples of these rare treasures But after the smoke of our personal enthusiasm has cleared, we are left with uneasy thoughts: Will young adults understand it? Will the...

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This section contains 1,339 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Giver Study Guide
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The Giver from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.